New race course for women-only marathon

(From left) Loh, Noorul Ashikin, Masdiana, Wong and Maria.

The Malaysia Women Marathon (MWM) 2019 will step into unfamiliar territories on March 3 as the race moves to Petaling Jaya for the first time since its inception in 2013.

Shah Alam has had the pleasure of hosting the women-exclusive marathon in the country for the past six years.

The seventh edition of the race will see thousands of female runners taking on a new race course, passing by some of the city’s popular landmarks.

“The event is held annually in conjunction with International Women’s Day to celebrate the empowerment of women,”

said MWM race director Karen Loh.

Loh said it was the seventh year and they were targeting 7,000 participants, and announced that they had reached their mark this year with support from the local community.

There are four categories: full marathon, half marathon, 10km and 5km fun run. The full marathon will be flagged off at 2am from Padang Timur.

MWM2019 will also see a stricter cut-off time for the participants of the full and half marathon.

“The police advised us to start a little bit earlier as the roads need to be reopened at 8.30am,” said Loh.

For the full marathon, runners can opt to complete the race at 30km if they are unable to meet the cut-off time of 6 hours and 30 minutes.

There will be a checkpoint at the 28km mark where those who do not meet the cut-off time will be asked to complete their race at 30km by making a U-turn back to Padang Timur.

Participants will still be able to receive their medals and a certificate for completing the race.

As for the half marathon, the cut-time off is being set at 7.30am at the same junction near Jalan Penchala.

Habsah Abang Saufi, the artist behind the art piece “Ode to Women” which was incorporated onto the event’s T-shirt, said her goal was to pay tribute to women from all walks of life.

“Women are the backbone of the country, whether they are leaders in their respective fields or ordinary women,” said Habsah.

Participants can collect their race kit at the Petaling Jaya City Council Civic Centre from Feb 28 to March 1. There will be 36 stalls and booths at the MWM 2019 Expo on race day at Padang Timur.

“In collaboration with Boost app, we want our modern society to move towards digital economy by going cashless in the expo.

“We hope people will stop by the Civic Centre to listen to dialogues on gender equality, which is the theme of MWM2019, and talk sessions by experienced runners and fitness centres that will be part of the expo,” said Loh, who is also the founder of the event.

On the day of the event, some 7,000 safety cones will be put up, while the police and MBPJ enforcement officers will be on hand to ensure smooth traffic flow.

Loh also showed the medals which will be given to the race finishers. It bears the national flower, the hibiscus.

“We collaborated with Swarovski Malaysia to create a symbolic medal that is decorated with precious stones from Swarovski, and we cannot wait to hand them out to runners at the finishing line,” she said.

Each medal is differentiated by the landyard which would indicate which category the runners participated in.

Loh said the medal could also be converted into a brooch.

Also present at the launch were Selangor Mentri Besar’s wife Masdiana Muhammad, Petaling Jaya MP Maria Chin Abdullah, Bukit Gasing assembleyman Rajiv Rishyakaran, Selangor Tourism general manager Noorul Ashikin Mohd Din and Bukit Lanjan assembleyman Elizabeth Wong.

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